A DOCTOR from Herefordshire is stepping down from his role at the helm of a group of GP surgeries to focus on the “huge backlog of work” he’s facing.
Dr Simon Lennane, from Alton Street Surgery in Ross-on-Wye had been the clinical director of the South and West Herefordshire primary care network.
Under the primary care network initiative, GP surgeries are grouped together to improve patient care, but Dr Lennane said “everything changed” when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020.
In the time since, a “huge backlog of work” built up for the NHS, and he said he stepped down from the role to focus on his work at Alton Street Surgery, which, like other practices, was “busier than ever”.
He said: “The role initially was about bringing together the local GP surgeries, social services, the council and voluntary groups to improve health in our area.
“Then Covid-19 hit, and everything changed.
“At the start we were lacking PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing, and national messaging was conflicting.
“The real priority was ensuring clear local communications, so the community could respond in a coordinated way.
“Local surgeries set up amber clinics so we could see patients safely when needed but working remotely where possible to prevent spreading the virus.”
Dr Lennane said he was incredibly proud of how Ross-on-Wye responded to the pandemic, with the community rallying round to help others.
He said Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust, set up to help the community, bought oxygen monitors and handed out face coverings to the public before they were made compulsory in indoor public places.
Dr Lennane was also at the helm when the coronavirus vaccination site at the Larruperz Centre, in Grammar School Close, was set up at the end of 2020.
He said it had fantastic support from volunteers and NHS staff working extra shifts.
“Despite wind, rain and snow, it was wonderful to see such a warm welcome for people coming for vaccination, many of whom hadn’t been out of the house since the start of the pandemic,” he said.
“There is a huge backlog of work now, and surgeries are busier than ever, so I’m stepping down from the role to concentrate on clinical work.”
Dr Lennane said he would continue as a trustee of the development trust, while Dr Dominic Horne from Much Birch Surgery took on the clinical director role.